While the first seder at the White House is certainly something to behold not everybody was happy about it. From the Jewish Journal:
It turns out that while President Obama becoming the first U.S. president to host and attend a White House Seder was seen as a nice gesture by some of his supporters, others were miffed. Why? Because they weren’t invited and their delicate egos couldn’t bear the slight.
The Times reported:
“Apparently Jewish [residents] here and in neighboring states are now calling wondering why they have not been invited,“ one staffer wrote, asking to take the event off the public schedule. The White House, which kept the dinner on the schedule because it had been announced, would not say who had sought invitations.
First Lady Michelle Obama’s Jewish cousin, Rabbi Capers Funnye of Chicago, thought that though Seders are traditionally held in the spirit of inclusiveness, it might be a bit much to host all those seeking to celebrate at the White House.
“I would hope that there would be a sense of understanding that . . . also, Seder is about family,“ said Funnye, a convert to Judaism, who was not at the White House. “I think you would certainly have to limit it. . . . You want to be inclusive, but you also want to be prudent in being inclusive as well.“
What was he supposed to do? Have the seder at The Kennedy Center or something?